New energy management system installed at former Warwick Community School

  • The former Warwick Community School.

Staff Writer
Published: 7/6/2021 5:33:24 PM
Modified: 7/6/2021 5:33:29 PM

WARWICK — Thanks to a newly installed energy management system at the former Warwick Community School, Buildings and Energy Committee members expect the town to see considerable cost savings from the improved energy efficiency.

Buildings and Energy Committee member Janice Kurkoski said the new system will create considerable savings resulting from the ability to conform to the energy needs of a building with varied uses. The new system, she said, allows for more precise control of heating and ventilation.

“The Warwick Community School has just undergone a transformation made possible by another Department of Energy Resources Green Communities grant,” Kurkoski said. “This time the improvements are practically invisible, consisting primarily of the installation of an energy management system, or EMS, that controls the different components of the heating and ventilation systems.”

The committee applied for the Green Communities grant last spring, and was awarded roughly $86,564 in September 2020. According to Kurkoski, $71,064 of this grant went toward work for the energy management system, plus $1,840 in administrative costs. Kurkoski said National Grid “kicked in” $5,400, and Warwick provided another $1,094, to complete the energy management system improvements. Other projects funded by the Green Communities grant included $11,500 to air seal doors and windows at the former school.

“Before this (energy management system) was implemented, there was significant waste built into the system, because 20 years ago, energy was cheaper and the hardware and software to precisely control the HVAC components did not exist,” Kurkoski explained, “nor did we realize how important it was to reign in the use of fossil fuels and electricity as it relates to man-made climate change.”

The ability to control fresh air intake based on carbon dioxide rather than a number of occupants, and to monitor and “call in” adjustments to temperature or get alarms from various triggers remotely, will go a long way toward saving energy, Kurkoski said.

According to a press release about the energy management system, Energy Source LLC was the expediter/contractor hired to design and implement the project. FMC Technologies Inc. was the controls subcontractor; the UMass Clean Energy Extension assisted, and Doug Waitt of Design Day Mechanicals provided continuity, offering his expertise as the person who designed the building’s original system over 20 years ago.

The former Warwick Community School, at 25 Winchester Road, is currently being used for summer enrichment programs for children, recreation, exercise classes, food distribution, and Selectboard and other town government meetings. It also is the headquarters for the town-owned broadband network.

Zack DeLuca can be reached at or 413-930-4579.

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